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Silver Sails

Posts: 8
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 05-18-2000 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Sails     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seems like you can't turn on the TV without seeing a show that has someone appraising something. Talk shows, News, PBS, Cable, etc.

Most of these shows have a "professional" dealer and/or auction person quoting un-researched values. And then before you know it, people are running around quoting these "off hand" and "from the hip" appraisals like they are real.

What are the professional appraisal organizations doing about this?

Hey maybe the professional appraiser organizations should get together and put on their own show. A show which would present only properly researched and arms length documented research (TV show & website combo).

The public doesn't understand what constitutes a professional appraisal. It seems to me that the professional appraisal organizations have a duty and obligation to educate the public.

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Bobby B.
iconnumber posted 05-19-2000 09:42 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Everyone,

I am back. Actually haven't been gone, I have been just watching.

I agree with Silver Sails post. I hope that Gayle's or anyone's reply is a bit less "text book" and more real world. As you may have guessed, I have taken the appraisal study courses. I learned a lot. I also have heard more than enough "textbook" answers in my classes.

What I haven't learned and what they don't teach is how to apply the "textbook" education into making a living in the real world. Maybe this is what all these TV and online "price quoters" are doing -- just doing whatever so as to make a living. Maybe they will worry about what is "textbook" right and ethical after they get caught, meanwhile they can put food on the table. Can they be caught? Often? Is getting caught so rare and the penalty so minor that it is just the cost of doing business?

I feel trapped between my "textbook" education, the ethics of being a professional appraiser, the elements of doing a professional appraisal or breaking/bending the rules so as to make a living. There are so few people (potential clients) who really understand what constitutes a professional (USPAP) appraisal. You students know what I mean, all the required proper work (hours of research and documentation). The public doesn't understand this so no one will pay what it will costs to do it right.

Sure there are a few examples of appraisers who manage to get "big ticket" appraisals and can afford to do it right but what about the rest of us? So does this mean that personal property like silver/jewelry or general household stuff is not realistic to do? This is unfortunate because in my suburban community there is lots to do but all the untrained "from the hip" "appraisers" capture the business without penalty. They seem to be supported as providing a proper service by all of those "appraisal experts" on the TV and online. Why don't the professional appraisal organizations (AAA, ASA, ISA) speak up? They need to be LOUDER and need to reach a wider and more public audience.

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Chris Coleman
iconnumber posted 06-05-2000 02:18 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These shows come down to one thing, show business. The Antique Road Show is planning a segment discussing what a real appraisal is; an ISA member is working with them on it.

These shows have brought personal property appraising to the public's attention and has resulted in increased business for our members. Yes, a percentage of inquirers think the appraisal should be free, but we always had that problem. The shows have also increased the number of articles being published that educate the public about appraising.

It seem everything in life has draw backs, we try to benefit from the positive aspects of a situation.

Thank you for your interest.

Chris Coleman, ISA CAPP Retired
Executive Director
International Society of Appraisers
16040 Christensen Rd., Ste. 102
Seattle, WA 98188-2965
Fax: 206-241-0436

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11520
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 06-05-2000 04:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the Silver Stories Forum there is a relevant thread (a series of posts) entitled: Bad Identification, Bad Appraisals

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Gayle M. Skluzacek

Posts: 20
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 06-05-2000 09:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gayle M. Skluzacek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott -- I finally responded!!!!

I agree with all of you. The appraisal profession needs to pay attention to new issues in the industry. We, as professionals, need to confront these issues, not berate them. These include, but are not limited to:
The Antiques Road Show
Verbal appraisals
Making a living

The Road Show is pure entertainment. Many of my friends and colleagues have appeared on the show. Several have stated that appearing on the show has been the biggest boost to their business in years. I am happy for them, although I wonder if it is the show or the economy in general.

I find it great fun to watch my friends on TV; almost as entertaining as watching the soap operaesque-amazement of the owners of the newly discovered "masterpieces"! Unfortunately, the viewing public is unaware that it is all a staged production. Few "experts" can give prices off the top of their head. Items and prices are usually researched before filmed. I know ArtFact is frequently employed by the "experts". However, the amount and type of research is minimal, hence the great number of inaccuracies. Appraisal clients (fans of the Roadshow) expect us to know everything off the top of our head as the Roadshow "stars" do. They are surprised that appraisers actually charge for research time!

However, my biggest problem with the Roadshow are not the inaccuracies or the unreal aspects, but that the experts are providing verbal appraisals which are against USPAP. (More on that to follow)

As Chris Coleman indicated, the hype of the Roadshow has helped the appraisal business for several reasons:
More people are aware of the function of an appraiser
Everybody has something valuable and
A general rise in public interest in the field creating more business for appraisers!
I do not know one appraiser who is complaining about a lack of business.

Eppraisals and online appraisals are another concern. How can one seriously assign a value for a substantial object without examining it? These are lawsuits waiting to happen. Meantime, the IRS has been quoted as allowing appraisals valuations for donations! AHHHK!!!

Verbal appraisals, charity appraisal days, and just walk-through appraisals happen far too often in an appraiser’s life. Although in theory USPAP accepts verbal appraisals when followed by a written report, who is going to bother with a written report? Usually a verbal appraisal is for someone who is trying to cut corners or maybe has something of insignificant value. A written appraisal just isn’t always necessary. An acceptable professional solution to this problem is in the works.

Making a living and being "textbook" ethical can be difficult, but do-able. USPAP, the IRS, and the AAA all state that the purpose for the appraisal and the value of the item should dictate the amount of research necessary for valuation. One would not and should not include comps for a low-end item for insurance. However, a work valued in the six+ figures may need comps. This often depends on the insurance company or the client. You, the professional appraiser, needs to make the call. Restricted appraisals and summary appraisals are perfectly acceptable for many clients. They will cut down on the tedious "busy work" (documentation can be just kept in files, not included in the report) for which most appraisers don’t get paid!

An appraiser’s reputation is the most important asset of an appraisal business. Appraisers who follow the standards of the industry are the ones who are going to get the better jobs. Granted, one may never get caught by the ethics committees of the AAA/ASA/ASA or by the IRS, but most appraisers know our colleagues M.O. I would never recommend another appraiser who does not adhere to the AAA/ASA/ISA code of ethics.

Incidentally, the ethics committee of the AAA has been very busy lately. Members can be sanctioned, suspended, and or expelled from the Association for acting unethically (which includes not abiding by USPAP). If such decision is reached, it is available to the public. Consumers do call the AAA to check on appraisers. Your reputation can be compromised by "bending" the rules to make an extra buck. Also, don’t forget that the IRS can fine you up to $1,000 for an improper appraisal and they can disqualify you from preparing future IRS appraisals.

However, some of you are dealers, some of you are auctioneers, some of you are consultants. The appraisers associations cannot apply the same standards to your work when not appraising. You are wearing a "different hat". You must abide by the standards of that profession, which may be very different than the standards for appraisers. Just remember which "hat" you are wearing!

Meantime, the Board of Directors of the AAA is preparing a statement addressing these issues and several others. We are working on ways to incorporate verbal valuations into the realm of our professionalism. We should have an official statement and possible solution without compromising our ethics available in the fall. Suggestions welcomed!

We are also trying to educate the public on the importance of a properly prepared appraisal. Victor Wiener has written several articles which have appeared in the "Bee" as well as the NY Law Journal addressing this issue. I (as well as several other appraisers) have spoken to numerous insurance companies, conventions, and Junior Leaguers on appraisal standards. It’s slow going, but I certainly see a rise in professionalism since I started almost 20 years ago (doing general household "stuff"!).

To Bobby B. - I tried not quote from the "textbooks" --- this is from the heart --- typos, rambling, and all!

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Posts: 136
Registered: Oct 99

iconnumber posted 06-06-2000 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for WGS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seems that "Verbal appraisals" has been used to describe oral appraisals. Whether offered orally or in written form, an appraisal would most likely require the use of words and thereby be verbal.

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